My academic background is diverse, and has taken me to universities on both of Canada's coasts and many places in between. After an Honours BA in English and history at the University of Toronto, and a stint in Fukushima, Japan, I earned my teaching degree at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I then completed an MA in English at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, where I wrote about Anne Wilkinson and mythopoeic Canadian modernism. I spent time with Oxford University Press Canada before earning a PhD in English at York University in Toronto. Since 2009, I've been attending--and now teaching at--the University of Victoria's Digital Humanities Summer Institute and Trent University's Textual Editing of Modernism in Canada.
I'm always looking for something new to learn, and so I'm currently working toward Six Sigma and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications. And trying to learn how to do the breaststroke without hyperventilating.
For my PhD dissertation, I wrote a biography of the Canadian poet and professor Jay Macpherson, who taught at the University of Toronto's Victoria College for more than forty years is best known for her Governor General's Award winning 1957 collection The Boatman. Like many of her contemporaries in Canada and abroad, Macpherson was obsessed with rewriting Biblical and classical myths as a way to interrogate our culture's values, preoccupations, and fears. The development of Macpherson's brand of mythopoeic modernism, one that has long been seen as very indebted to the work of Northrop Frye (with whom Macpherson worked and had a personal relationship for many years) serves as an illuminating case study for the turn toward myth Canadian literature takes in the late 1940s, one that lasts well into the 1970s. Macpherson's primary concern, in her retelling and reclaiming of mythology, is the way that communities work, and how literature works to include and exclude people from communities of readers, writers, nationalities, cultures. Macpherson's work illuminates how Canadian writers dealt with the aftermath of the Second World War and the terrors of the Cold War, and how they fulfilled their need to make a broken world whole again through mythic stories that resonated across cultural, linguistic, and religious divides. If you're interested in learning more about my research, you can read an article I wrote about in Partisan, or you can pick up my edition of Macpherson's selected poems, published by Porcupine's Quill as part of their Essential Poets series.
Early in my PhD, I co-founded (with Thomas Bryce McQuinn and Nemanja Protic) the peer-reviewed open-access journal Pivot: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Study and Thought, a journal that is now one of the most read in the field of Canadian interdisciplinary studies. Built in Open Journal Systems, Pivot was designed to bring together scholars from across disciplinary divides, and across the faculty-student divide. Looking back, this was the first seeds of my current career, because without realizing it I was working to help graduate students gain experience in project management, editing, layout, event planning, and evaluation. The skills I learned in founding and working on Pivot have been super important to my career success in and outside of the university.
Along with writing and presenting about Canadian modernist poetry and poetics, I also do research in the fields of digital humanities and higher education.
Want to read more? Check out my full CV below.